PodsPlus’ Silicone Skin for the iPod shuffle is the second “skin” case we’ve seen so far for the shuffle — the first being Pacific Rim Technologies’ Gel Shield. Like the Gel Shield, the PodsPlus Skin provides an all-over glove of silicon that protects your shuffle from scratches, minor bumps, and surface moisture. (We recommend you read our review of the Gel Shield at http://playlistmag.com/products/complete/129-detail.php.)
However, the Skin differs from the Gel Shield in a few minor ways. Most interestingly for many users will be the Skin’s color options: ghost white, blue, black, gray, hot pink, lime green, orange, light pink, sea green, and yellow. (The Skin is sold in packages of two: one ghost white and one of your preferred color.) But the Skin is also a bit thicker than Pac Rim’s case. This likely gives the Skin a bit better protection, but it also has at least one drawback: Like the Gel Sheild, the Skin uses a thinner patch of silicone over the shuffle’s Off/On/shuffle switch to allow you to manipulate the switch through the case; since this silicone is a bit thicker on the Skin than the Gel Shield, the switch is a bit easier to use on the latter.
The other main difference between the two cases is that the Gel Shield’s silicone is a bit “stickier” than PodsPlus’ version. This means it’s easier to grip your shuffle in the case with the Gel Sheld, and it also means that the case doesn’t come off as easily — this is especially noticeable for the part of the case that covers the shuffle’s USB cap, which tends to come off a bit too easily on the PodsPlus Skin. A couple of times it fell off the cap in our pockets.
It’s probably clear by now that we slightly preferred Pac Rim’s Gel Shield to PodPlus’ Silicone Skin; however, the differences are slight. And the Skin has one significant advantage: at $7.50 per case vs. $11, it’s less expensive.–Dan Frakes